- Head Coach
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Nobody is allowing Bob McAdoo or Sugar Ray Richardson to leave the NBA today...
Sometimes I'm very surprised how average european player become very important in the NBA.
Look at the Olympics Game, the better USA players struggled at times, that was completely out of discussion with the original Dream Team and before the Dream Team an USA team made of College players almost won all the international competitions, today they will be blowed from Switzerland.
- Global Mod
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That seems to be as good an explanation as any. Also, the best scorers in the league are mostly playing with other talent right now. Westbrook is chucking up a storm next to Durant, so you don't see him doing what he could in terms of volume... but as both Durant and Brooks would be the first to say, they're first in the league in wins. Can't be a bad thing, then. They're also the best offense in the league and even 8th in pace at 92.6, with a usage split between Westbrook and Durant not terribly dissimilar to Shaq/Kobe, though obviously Westbrook compares to neither.
In any case, they've found a workable formula, so why dick with it for raw volume stats that mean nothing anyway? KD just dropped 52, so it's not like he can't bust out for a big one now and again.
Hell, look at the league after Jordan's 4th title. 96 was the last time he rocked 30+ ppg on a season. The league leaders since then?
Bryant 29.67 (so far)
It's basically the same kind of cycle we've been watching for the last 15, 16 years. It's tough to get to 30+ ppg, and it's not always worth it. Wade and Lebron, two guys who have each done it in the last 6 seasons, are playing on the same team. Durant, who has also done it in the last 4 years, is playing alongside another volume shooter.
You'll notice something common about the 30+ ppg seasons, too, it's mostly single-star teams that didn't go anywhere and the player had license to shoot because the roster didn't have the talent requisite for legitimate contention.
It's been 4 seasons since someone scored 30+ ppg on a season; it was 5 after Jordan did it in 96. This isn't anything new. Look back farther, you'll see what I'm talking about. It happened more consistently in the 80s, of course, but you'll see that even then, Alex English rocked 28.37 in 83 to lead the league.
We should remember, too, that before Jordan many people talked about the perils of having a scoring champion on your team if what you wanted to do was contend for titles. Before MJ, Kareem was the only one to ever do that, win a scoring title and a championship in the same season... and the prevailing theory was that big-centric offense was the reason (though obviously efficient offense was a big part of that and MJ was as efficient as a big, or better). Since then? Shaq did it in 2000 and that's it (though "scoring champion" and "30+ ppg" are very much different benchmarks).
Ramble, ramble, but TL;DR, this isn't anything special. It's expected, and even if you don't account for pace, we get runs where the league doesn't have huge volume scorers based on the talent cycle and how difficult it is to maintain 30+ on the season. We still have Kobe, so we'll see what happens at the end of the season, but 17 years in, it's a lot to ask him to shoulder that kind of burden and still have anything left after the RS, another under-appreciated component of volume scoring.
- General Manager
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- Sixth Man
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Only 9 players averaging 20 or more and (even if you look at the first 40 players on the scoring list there are not too many guys playing 2nd or 3rd fiddles that would or could be 20 ppg scorers),
Even if teams were not as deep there are not too many good scorers around anymore.
Talent level in general is not too good outside of the elite.
A lot of those 15 years plus veterans are still considered one of the or the best at their positions (Kobe, Duncan, Nowitzki , Garnett) that also shows you the drop of talent level.
Around 2005 for example you had those surefire 20 ppg scorers as Shaq, Garnett, Duncan, Nowitzki, Wade, LeBron, Carmelo, Kobe, McGrady, Carter, Pierce, Iverson, Arenas, Allen, Stoudemire, Brand
That is 15 guys and not even borderline 20 ppg players included and there were a lot of them back then!
Who are surefire 20 ppg players today?
LeBron, Kobe, Melo, Wade, Durant, Harden, Westbrook, Irving, (Rose when healthy)
8 to 9 players
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